KIIS FM dumps two of its prime time shows early in shocking decision. Picture: Kylie Else
KIIS FM dumps two of its prime time shows early in shocking decision. Picture: Kylie Else

Radio stars dumped in shock early decision

RADIO can be a brutal game, as on-air favourites Dave Hughes, Kate Langbroek, Meshel Laurie and Matt Tilley were reminded this week.

The radio stars - who broadcast shows on KIIS - were all unceremoniously dropped by the station owned by Australian Radio Network (ARN), earlier than expected, without the chance to have a proper farewell show for their fans.

Both teams received the surprising news on Friday after they went to air, with network bosses telling them it would be their last show with KIIS. They were meant to finish their respective programs with the network on December 8.

After three years with KIIS, Hughsey and Kate were abruptly dropped by the network without the chance to say goodbye.
After three years with KIIS, Hughsey and Kate were abruptly dropped by the network without the chance to say goodbye.

National drive hosts Hughes and Langbroek caught their bosses off-guard last month when they announced they would defect to rival Hit Network in 2018. It was announced soon after Laurie and Tilley's Melbourne breakfast show would be axed and replaced by New Zealand drivetime hosts Polly 'PJ' Harding and Jase Hawkins.

Confirming to news.com.au the shows had been yanked early, Laurie dubbed the decision "pretty offensive" and issued a word of warning to her replacements.

"I can only wish the new kids luck, they'll need it," Laurie told news.com.au, saying that the call blindsided them all.

"Obviously the company didn't trust any of us with a proper farewell, which is pretty offensive given the experience of the broadcasters involved.

"None of us has ever acted with anything less than full integrity, honesty and commitment which is unfortunately not what we received in return."

Hughes didn't return calls to news.com.au but announced the news to fans on Instagram on Friday, writing: "Call has come thru that this bunch of @hughesyandkate legends just had their last Drive shift ARN."

In a similar post on Facebook, Laurie wrote: "So it turns out today was our last day on KIIS FM in Melbourne. It's been a deeply weird two years, but our immediate team was so brilliant, they really made the daily grind survivable."

Despite the unpleasant end, Laurie remained upbeat about the future.

"It was a bit of a shock but I can't say I'm unhappy to be on holidays earlier than expected!" Laurie told news.com.au.

And on Instagram, Hughes wrote: "We've loved working with so many great people there and are pumped to start with @hitnetworkaus in 2018!"

Meshel Laurie, who co-hosted the KIIS Melbourne breakfast slot with Matt Tilley, said the network’s decision was “offensive”.
Meshel Laurie, who co-hosted the KIIS Melbourne breakfast slot with Matt Tilley, said the network’s decision was “offensive”.

This isn't the only curveball ARN has thrown recently. Just last week, Melbourne's number one FM breakfast show Jo & Lehmo was axed, only days after being crowned the ratings winner.

Following plenty of speculation, ARN finally confirmed that Gold 104.3 FM's Jo Stanley and Anthony 'Lehmo' Lehmann won't be returning to the network in 2018.

"Jo & Lehmo are professional, talented and entertaining broadcasters who have made a significant contribution to Gold 104.3 over their time with the station. Jo & Lehmo will remain on air until the end of 2017, with further details of the plans for Gold 104.3 to be announced shortly," national content director Duncan Campbell said in a statement.

It follows the most recent ratings survey, which showed Jo & Lehmo had become the most-listened to FM breakfast show in Melbourne, with an 8.4 per cent share of the market.

After the news broke, Lehmann revealed he was "pretty disappointed" but "grateful for all the opportunities."

A replacement for Lehmann and Stanley has not been announced.

Hughesy & Kate will be replaced by Perth hosts Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw in the national KIIS drive slot in 2018.



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